The new facility will produce 20,000 tons of dry pet food per year, with the option to double capacity.
The Czech pet food manufacturer is set to expand its footprint in the Nordic country with the construction of its largest-ever factory in Nokia.
The company has invested €16 million ($17.1M) in the new plant, becoming the firm’s largest investment in Finland to date. It boasts a floor space of 3,000 sqm and an additional 300 sqm for a warehouse.
VAFO says that the facility uses “cutting-edge technologies” with a focus on eco-friendly practices. All the products—including the larger 12 kg and 15 kg bags—will be packaged in-house using recyclable film.
As the manufacturer’s eighth production plant, the Finnish factory will be fully operational by 2025. VAFO says the new plant will create 20 jobs, with 80% of all raw materials expected to be sourced from within 100 kilometers of the plant.
With the new plant, VAFO aims to “further bolster” its position in the Nordic pet food market and increase its regional sales by resuming private label production for the Hau-Hau Champion dog food brand.
Timo Pärssinen, CEO of VAFO’s Finnish subsidiary Prima Pet Premium, recognized it as the “best-selling pet food in the local market.”
By shifting its production of this product from the Czech Republic to Finland, VAFO is “in a better position to respond to consumer demand for domestic, locally produced pet foods.”
The location, Kolmenkulma Eco3 Park, features a system of organic and circular economy, pushing the unit to be “the most sustainable pet food production facility in the whole of Finland.”
The factory is 100% compatible with biogas and is powered by an extensive system of solar panels. It also produces packaging from recyclable film.
This is the company’s second move in the pet food market after closing a partnership with Swedish wholesaler Lupus Foder. VAFO claims the Finnish pet food market is estimated at €600 million ($641M) yearly.
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